Recent decades have rendered dummies or pacifiers far from being the childcare necessity they used to be. Most parents have misgivings about the use of such teething appliances, at times avoiding them altogether. The dental community has been the driving force behind the relegation of dummies into a fringe infant accessory. But, they may not be completely as abominable as many people make them out to be.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) may just be the most frighteningly named disease in the medical lexicon. It does exactly as it says, and research has showed that infants sucking on pacifiers at night are far less prone to triggering it.
The exact science behind SIDS remains shrouded in mystery to this day. Autopsies fail to produce anything conclusive. Children show no signs of struggle. The deaths only occur in the first year of life, during sleep, between midnight and nine in the morning. Any parent may understandably go into a state of frantic paranoia, given these oddly specific yet eerily vague criteria. Fortunately, all it takes to dispel the fear is letting the child suck on a pacifier at night. Yes, even if it might mess up their dental structure.
Dentists from SmileworksLiverpool.co.uk say that for the mysterious circumstance of SIDS, the exception for dummies is a no-brainer. They say that the instantaneous stopping of an infant’s heart during sleep requires far greater attention than how the child’s baby teeth may erupt.
But, they warn parents about the importance of weaning infants off the pacifier as soon as the SIDS worries wear off. This is crucial, especially for breastfeeding mothers, and the dummy dependence must cease by the 1-year mark.
Parents would always choose their child’s life over their child’s dental structure. But, with the specific period when this choice makes medical sense, parents should know that the best course of action once the possibility of SIDS goes to zero is to give their infant a chance to grow a perfect smile.